patton-chuckAre you building your business today as if you plan to sell it tomorrow? At Venture Connectors’ Oct. 5 luncheon, Chuck Patton, co-founder of Louisville-based Traffic Builders Inc., shared how he successfully positioned his communications firm for acquisition by Houston-based direct marketing company GS Marketing Inc. in August 2015.

Patton discussed how he boosted the value of Traffic Builders’ intellectual property, despite declining sales, to make it an attractive acquisition. GS Marketing is a single resource for high-impact lead generation campaigns, one-to-one communications and results-driven loyalty/retention programs. As a preferred vendor for Toyota Motor Sales, GS Marketing specializes in marketing solutions for Toyota and Scion dealerships across the country.

Patton and his wife, Tricia Patton, founded Traffic Builders in 1998 as a direct mail company. It later evolved into a multi-channel communications agency that included e-mail, web and mobile app channels, integrated on one comprehensive platform. Traffic Builders was a niche marketer within the automotive industry, specifically assisting service departments of new car dealerships. With sales of just under $6 million and 30 employees, Traffic Builders was a Greater Louisville Inc. Gazelle company and was named to Business First of Louisville’s fastest growing companies list four years in a row, topping at No. 6.

The purchase of Traffic Builders has allowed GS Marketing to gain a new print and digital marketing technology platform to strengthen its data-driven direct marketing solutions for the automotive industry and expand its customer base within the automotive and recreational vehicle industries.

Patton now serves as director of marketing for GS Marketing and is based in the company’s Louisville office. He is a Northern Kentucky native and graduate of Western Kentucky University. Early in his career, he worked part time staffing promotional events for the automotive sector across the United States. He also did a brief stint with a startup company that he bought out a year later for $2.